Department of Labor Investigators have found that The Best Stop Supermarket of Louisiana had falsified time records to show they had paid workers as required by law. Fines have been assessed totaling nearly $600, 000 for the violations, which include employee back wages, damages, and penalties to over 30 workers who were not paid for hours they worked, including prep time counting cash drawers prior to and at completion of work shifts. Additionally, employees were forced to work overtime hours and paid in cash at a non-overtime rate of pay. These cash payments were disguised as “reimbursements” to not only avoid federally mandated overtime laws, but additionally avoid payroll taxes. Employees’ wages were also deducted for any cash register shortages even if those deductions brought wages below the required federal minimum wage.
The Best Stop Supermarket submitted to federal investigators falsified timeclock records to show they had paid workers as required as well as decided with employees to only pay for 40 hours on payroll checks per week and to pay for additional overtime of their hours in cash, all at the workers’ regular hourly rates.
As of 12/5/16 the lowest hourly wage that an employee working in Louisiana can legally be paid matches the federal government minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Certain occupations and employees are exempt from Louisiana and Federal Minimum Wage regulations, including tipped workers, students in high school and college, and certain disabled workers. These exemptions obviously would not apply to the majority, if any of Best Stop Supermarket employees.